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Are We Living Inside an Ethical (and Kind) Machine?

This is a moment to ask as we make the plan­et dig­i­tal, as we total­ly envel­op our­selves in the com­put­ing envi­ron­ment that we’ve been build­ing for the last hun­dred years, what kind of dig­i­tal plan­et do we want? Because we are at a point where there is no turn­ing back, and get­ting to eth­i­cal deci­sions, val­ues deci­sions, deci­sions about democ­ra­cy, is not some­thing we have talked about enough nor in a way that has had impact.

Programming is Forgetting: Toward a New Hacker Ethic

I wouldn’t be sur­prised to find out that many of us here today like to see our work as a con­tin­u­a­tion of say the Tech Model Railroad Club or the Homebrew Computer Club, and cer­tain­ly the ter­mi­nol­o­gy and the val­ues of this con­fer­ence, like open source for exam­ple, have their roots in that era. As a con­se­quence it’s easy to inter­pret any crit­i­cism of the hack­er ethic—which is what I’m about to do—as a kind of assault.

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